SunAsia Energy, a Philippines-based solar developer, and Blueleaf Energy have been selected by the Philippines’ Department of Energy to build and operate six large-scale floating solar projects totalling 610.5MW.  

The plants will be installed on Laguna Lake.

The department has issued solar energy operating contracts for 1.3GW of floating projects.

SunAsia and Blueleaf will partner to build the projects on the surface of the lake, which extends to the cities of Calamba, Sta Rosa and Cabuyao, and to the towns of Bay and Victoria.

Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla stated that the department aims to strengthen the renewable energy sector and support the commercialisation of floating solar as an emerging technology.

The contract-signing ceremony emphasised the need to accelerate the country’s goal of decarbonisation by 2040.

Blueleaf Energy CEO Raghuram Natarajan stated: “As an active investor in sustainable infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, we believe the Philippines holds great potential to add significant renewable energy capacity to its energy mix and at the same time deliver green energy at an affordable cost compared to fossil fuels.

“This is an important step in attracting the much-needed foreign direct investments in the Philippines’ renewable energy sector to accelerate the energy transition for meeting the country’s decarbonisation and net-zero targets.”

In 2019, SunAsia began operating a test bed on Laguna Lake to study wave behaviour, wind movement, the intensity of the sun and variations in temperature.

This has contributed to the growing understanding of solar panels’ operation on the lake.

The panels will be cooled down by the water on which they rest, increasing their efficiency compared with a land-based solar system.

Solar-on-water is expected to boost clean power as the race to cut carbon emissions continues.

Large solar farms are now being built on bodies of water in China, Japan, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Building solar projects on the surface of the largest lake in the Philippines can help reach the country’s decarbonisation goals and generate much-needed power for industry, homes and cities.

SunAsia Energy president and CEO Tetchi Capellan stated: “Land use is becoming a big issue for renewables. People are worrying about competing uses of land, and in some markets you might struggle to find land.

“There is a strong incentive to build on water as the Philippines gears up for an ambitious 46GW solar energy installations in 2040, and at the same time increases power supply in the country.”